Improving Community Responses - MANY

school and work is growing and effective community responses are not .... What We Know about Youth Employment: Research Summary and Best Practices. .... alternative schools, vocational schools, and community colleges can all be.
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Improving Community Responses: Employment & Education for Transition-Aged Youth MANY Network - www.manynet.org

Improving Community Responses Employment & Education for Transition-Aged Youth There are countless policies, laws, research, training, and white papers that talk about the challenges transition-aged youth are experiencing. Yet even with this focus, direct service providers continue to state that employment and education is top on their list of needs for transition-aged youth.

Table of Contents Executive Summary..............................................................................................................................................2 Employment & Education Experience of Transition-Aged Youth.....................................................................3 Essential Supports for Transition-Aged Youth Employment & Education Success........................................4 Comprehensive Support...........................................................................................................................4

Developmentally-Tailored Service Approach.........................................................................................5



Job Opportunities.....................................................................................................................................5

Community Barriers to Achieving Employment & Education Success............................................................5

Fragmentation of Local Services.............................................................................................................6



Fragmentation of Evidence......................................................................................................................6

Recommendations from the Field.......................................................................................................................7

Build Resiliency of Providers Across Sectors..........................................................................................7



Cross-Sector Partnership and Collaboration.........................................................................................7

About MANY Network..........................................................................................................................................8

Improving Community Responses - MANY Network - www.manynet.org

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Executive Summary MANY convened providers from 31 states, representing various sectors of the youth services field, to a roundtable discussion. The goal was to highlight what’s working in their programs and to share critical challenges. As part of this discussion, providers identified emerging or persistent needs in their local communities. Multiple themes emerged, but none were more prevalent than the employment and education challenges of transition-aged youth. From housing programs, to substance abuse programs, to mental health programs – all identified education and employment as the top two challenges youth and young adults were experiencing. Following this convening, a series of calls and additional in-person meetings were conducted to dive deeper into the root of these challenges – identifying the top barriers that transcended specific localities or states. This report synthesizes those barriers, cross-walks these barriers with existing evidence, and shares recommendations crafted by the field. Across the nation, there is a population of youth in need of opportunities to connect with the employment and education world or run the risk of disconnecting for critical support systems. The number of youth (ages 18-24) disconnected from school and work is growing and effective community responses are not growing at the same rate. There is a clear need to understand the pipeline to this disconnection and ensure providers’ ability to respond effect